Montana Fall Road Trip Suggestions?

Old Man

Just an Old Man
You find any skinny water running down hill and you are likely to fish fish in it. They might not be very big, but they will be trout. Maybe I'll fish Montana this fall. It would be a change as I haven't hit very many places this year. Was going to go hit the Big Hole today but the sun was to god damn hot for me. I was getting beat down because of it. It is supposed to be cooler next week. So we will see what the cooler weather brings. I think that I will take my 5wt along.
 

para_adams

Active Member
A trip that long would give me enough time to wander around quite a few streams and lakes in MT. As the author of the Bitterroot post I'd certainly include that area in your travels but honestly with a little more time I'd have traveled further into MT to other streams where the fish are generally larger and/or more plentiful. The fall season would also be really good on lakes. If you can ever find yourself on the Blackfoot Rez with lighter than usual winds, ie...not gale force, those lakes can hold fish of truly memorable size. Have fun and be safe.
 

flybill

Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
I did a trip 6 or 7 years ago. Did 13 rivers and one lake in 16 days. A few floats and drove over 3000 miles when gas was close to $4 / gallon. Had a blast! Need to do it again. Took 40 cigars and ran out. Next time the booze and beer will be better!

So invite me along.. been going out to Montana since 96 ... my real advice is pick an area like Rock Creek and spend time there. Or the Bitterroot or Missouri. Spend 3 to 5 days fishing hard at each place. You can spend all your time driving or spend it fishing and go to fewer places.

Think about hitting the st. Joe in ID on the way back or drive through the Lochsa.. so much great water to hit!
 

MT_Flyfisher

Active Member
This is the first time in the past 18 years that I’ve not spent the entire summer in MT. Gosh, I miss being there. I’ve been at my home in PA all this summer so far, and I can tell you it sucks being here vs. MT.

However, I’m going to MT right after Labor Day, and plan on staying until I either get froze out, or get tired of fishing. I’ll be mostly in the West Yellowstone area, looking for that elusive 30” fall run fish coming out of Hebgen, although I’ll also doing some other streams and rivers within a couple hundred mile radius of there.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
If it were me. This is the short version of what I'd do,weather permitting.

1. Rock creek. I like the upper portion i think it's prettier and has better access , that could just be my bias. I recommend driving the whole 40 miles between I 90 and hwy 38
You'll find spots to fall in love with and there is plenty of camping.
After Rock creek run into philipsburg for a burger at Doe brothers and to get your wife/Gf a pair of earrings from the Sapphire Gallery. So she'll be excited for you to go next year too.
After that head up the mountain past Georgetown lake and down into Anaconda from there take hwy 569 over to the big hole hwy 43 turn east and go a couple miles and there will be a public fishing area that has the best free camping in the state of Montana. And your grayling will be on the big pool near the boat ramp.

After fishing your way down the big hole. I'd run over to Ennis Montana and fish the Madison. Streamers, Bwos and nymphing would be my guess. I'd assume a cold snap would have killed off the hoppers by then, but who knows.

Anyway, thats what I'd do.
 

wetswinger

Active Member
From
Rock creek fisherman's mercantile, cabins $60/night. Eat at the stagecoach inn, great food. Head to upper rock creek and camp, then go over skalkaho pass and fish west fork of bitterroot. Great camping, fish above Rambo campground. Best fishing is up there. low water, spawning browns in the system, big cutts. Use a small wooly bugger and get hammered in low water. When sun gets on water use a purple haze. You don't have to travel far to find great fishing there. Mems.
From the W. Frk, go over Nez Perce Pass and fish the upper Selway. Heaven on earth...
 

Andrew Shoemaker

Active Member
If it were me. This is the short version of what I'd do,weather permitting.

1. Rock creek. I like the upper portion i think it's prettier and has better access , that could just be my bias. I recommend driving the whole 40 miles between I 90 and hwy 38
You'll find spots to fall in love with and there is plenty of camping.
After Rock creek run into philipsburg for a burger at Doe brothers and to get your wife/Gf a pair of earrings from the Sapphire Gallery. So she'll be excited for you to go next year too.
After that head up the mountain past Georgetown lake and down into Anaconda from there take hwy 569 over to the big hole hwy 43 turn east and go a couple miles and there will be a public fishing area that has the best free camping in the state of Montana. And your grayling will be on the big pool near the boat ramp.

After fishing your way down the big hole. I'd run over to Ennis Montana and fish the Madison. Streamers, Bwos and nymphing would be my guess. I'd assume a cold snap would have killed off the hoppers by then, but who knows.

Anyway, thats what I'd do.

This is pretty much exactly my plan so far minus the Madison (seems to big to wade...I’ll just be wade fishing the whole trip) and then add the Beaverhead south of Ennis and throw in a couple park days and maybe a Henry’s Fork day...would like a shot at some big migrating browns as well.
 

Andrew Shoemaker

Active Member
Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! So far my plan is Rock Creek > Big Hole > Beaverhead > YNP with a few days scattered to either stay longer somewhere or move on to something new not listed. I’m sure when I get there though, I’ll just end up heading whichever direction feels right. That’s usually how any trip of any sort goes for me. A plan is a nice to have...and going with the flow is even nicer.
 

gt

Active Member
you might also try driving up the Gallatin from 4 corners, start fishing at the bridge located by looking for the highway dept parking area and sand dump. big browns down low, nice rainbows as you go up river and once you are just below and then into the park, beautiful Yellowstone Cutts, one of my favorite rivers because of the diversity.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
This is pretty much exactly my plan so far minus the Madison (seems to big to wade...I’ll just be wade fishing the whole trip) and then add the Beaverhead south of Ennis and throw in a couple park days and maybe a Henry’s Fork day...would like a shot at some big migrating browns as well.

I would like to tell you that your off as to where the Beaverhead is located The Madison is south of Ennis. The Beaverhead is several valley's to the west of Ennis.
 

longjohn

Member
I'm taking a similar trip the first week of October. The plan so far is the West Fork of the Bitterroot for two days, the Big Hole for two or three with a side trip to the Beaverhead. Then would finish out the week on the Upper Madison. This is my first time fishing east of Missoula. Any recommendations on campgrounds, places to eat or the route in general would be greatly appreciated.
 

wollybugger

deny self.
Just did that exact thing... 2 week trip with my girl and we fished and did pretty well. We fished Glacier, Rock Creek, Bitterroot River, Madison. I think it ended up being like 200 fish total for the trip and some of them had some great size. There's some incredible fishing there and its very different than most places. Good Luck!
 

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